Frequently Asked Questions about the Library

General | Using the Library | Using Research Databases |
Computing Facilities in the Library


Using the Library

Using Research Databases

Computing Facilities in the Library

I don't know where to start...


What are the library hours?
The two campus libraries (Abbotsford and Chilliwack) have different library hours. Library hours vary during the academic year. Always check for current information.

Where is the library located?
We have 2 campus libraries to serve students at different locations: Abbotsford  and Chilliwack. Check the web site for addresses and directions.

Do I need a library card?
Your UFV student card is your library card, and is used to borrow materials from the UFV library. Student cards are issued at the Circulation desk in Chilliwack, and at the Campus Card office (S1101) in Abbotsford.

I'm not a student. Can I use the library? Can I get a library card?
Members of the public are welcome to use the resources within the UFV library, including the library collection, research databases, and library equipment. Different loan policies apply for community and alumni borrowers.  Community users may apply for a library card; alumni must get an alumni card at the campus card office.

Do you have quiet study areas?
Study carrels are available in the Chilliwack Library and on the second floor of the Abbotsford Library. (You can also book a group study room on the Abbotsford and Chilliwack campuses. More details are available in our Group Study Room Policy, including links to online booking.)

Do you have photocopying services?
Card operated machines are available on the main floor of the libraries. To photocopy you must have value pre-loaded on your campus card (student or employee). You may add value to your card in the Chilliwack Library (cash, credit, debit, $5 minimum) or at the PHIL station in the Abbotsford Library (cash only, $5 minimum, bills only).  Members of the public or alumni can purchase generic copy cards at the UFV bookstore.  The cost is 10 cents per page. (Value can also be added to cards at the Campus Card office and the Bookstores.)

Do you have a lost and found department?
Yes. Check with the Circulation Desk. There is also a lost and found department located in the Security Department, Room B120A (Abbotsford).

Do you charge library fines?
Yes. See the Borrowing Materials page for details.

Can I return an item when the library is closed?
During closed hours, external bookdrops are available at the Chilliwack and Abbotsford campuses.

·         Chilliwack: external bookdrop is located outside the south entrance of A Building.
·         Abbotsford: external bookdrop is located outside the north entrance of G Building.
·         Mission: internal bookdrop is located in the hallway outside the library. Bookdrop only accessible when the building is open.

Can I return an item to any UFV campus?

All items other than Reserve items can be returned at any UFV campus library. Reserve items must be returned to the library from which they were checked out.

Where are the washrooms?
At the Chilliwack campus there are washrooms located on either side of the library, by Tim Horton's and by Starbucks. The main washrooms in G Building are outside of the Abbotsford Library, near Tim Horton's.

Using the Library

How can I access my library record?

From the library's home page:

  1. Click on "My Library Account".
  2. Choose "Review my account".
  3. Enter your student number and 4-digit library PIN number (available from the Circulation Desk or online).
  4. From this page you can see how many items you have checked out, if you have any fines, or if your transfer or hold item is available.

I don't know how to use the library catalogue.
Please contact our information desk for assistance.

How can I find a specific item?
If you know the title of the item you want, you can search the UFV Library Catalogue:

  1. Click on "UFV Library Catalogue" from the library's home page.
  2. Type the title into the search box.
  3. Choose "Title" from the drop down menu and click on "Search". Note: for newspaper, magazine, or journal titles, click on the "Periodical Title" button.
  4. You need to write down the:
    • Call number (e.g. D 570.8 I6 D46 1999)
    • Library (e.g. Chilliwack) 
    • Location (e.g. Stacks)

What are course reserves and how can I find them?
Course reserves can be anything that your prof has put on short term loan. To find them, from the library's home page, click on "Course Reserves." You can search the course reserve list by course name, course number or instructor. Once you have the call number, go to the Circulation Desk to check it out.

What is a reference book?
A reference is one that is designed to be consulted for definitions, facts, data, or background on a topic. Examples include dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, and indexes. Reference books are shelved in a separate location within the library, and may not be checked out. (Reference books are also available online via the Electronic Reference Collection).

How do I find reference books on my topic?
From the library's home page, click on "UFV Library Catalogue," then:

  1. Click on the "Advanced Search" tab.
  2. Type your keywords in the first search box.
  3. Set the "type" to "Reference book." You can also specify a particular library collection with the "library" menu.
  4. Click the "Search" button.

I don't know how to locate a book on the shelf by the call number.
You may find our tutorial on understanding call numbers helpful.

The book or journal is not on the shelf.
Try these strategies first:

  • Check the UFV Library Catalogue again:
    • Is it checked out?
    • Is it a reference book? Reference books are shelved in the Reference section.
    • Are you in the campus library that owns the title?
  • Check the book carts in the library; the book might not yet be reshelved.

If you have tried everything and still can't find it, place a hold on the item and the Circulation staff will search for the item.  You may also ask for help at the Information Desk.

The item I want is available at another campus library. How do I get it?
All transfers from other campus libraries are through the UFV Library Catalogue. After you have found the specific item you want:

  1. Click on "Place Hold" at the left side of the screen.
  2. Enter your student number and 4-digit library PIN number (available at the Circulation Desk), as well as the campus where you want the item sent.
  3. If you are transferring a journal, please indicate the specific issue you want.
  4. Click on the "Submit" button.
  5. A message will appear confirming that the hold is placed. Click on "OK" at the bottom of the message.

We will deliver the transferred item to the library you requested at no cost. Each transfer takes at least one business day. You can return the library item to any campus libraries. See Interlibrary Loans if you are requesting materials from other libraries.

Can I recall an item that is checked out?
Yes. All holds or recalls are requested through the UFV Library Catalogue. Once you have found the specific item in the catalogue that you want to recall:

  1. Click on "Place Hold" at the left side of the screen.
  2. Enter your student number and 4-digit library PIN number (available from the Circulation Desk), as well as the campus where you want the item held.
  3. Click on the "Submit" button.
  4. A message will appear confirming that the hold is placed. Click on "OK" at the bottom of the message.

When the item is returned, we will hold it for 7 days at the Circulation Desk of the library you requested. Your hold will also show as Available in your library account.

Can I renew an item online?
Yes. You can renew your item(s) online. The number of times depends on the patron status and item status.

From the library's home page:

  1. Click on "My Library Account."
  2. Choose the "Renew My Library Materials" option.
  3. Enter your student number and 4-digit library PIN number (available at the Circulation Desk).
  4. All of the materials you have checked out will be listed. You can renew items individually or all at one time.
  5. Note that renewed items are subject to recall, if wanted by another user. Items that have been renewed by students or items that are past the 3-week guaranteed period of a faculty or staff loan can be recalled. If an item you have checked out has been recalled, you will receive email notification via your UFV email account. Items will be assigned a new due date and will be due back sooner. Recalled items that are not returned by the new due date will be subject to recall fines of $2/day.

Please note that if another student or faculty member has placed a hold on an item or if you have reached the maximum number of renewals, you will not be able to renew that item.

I forgot my PIN number.
Forgotten PINs can be retreived by going to My Library Account, clicking on "Don't know Your PIN" and entering your UFV ID number. Your PIN will be emailed to your UFV email account.

The library does not have the resource I need.
If you're looking for a specific item (i.e. you know the title, author, and other details), use our interlibrary loan request form to borrow it from another library.

If you want to identify other books about your topic beyond what the UFV library owns, try searching Outlook Online, a catalogue of the holdings of several B.C. libraries. You can also request items from other libraries using Outlook Online. To search other libraries' catalogues directly, see our list of British Columbia Libraries.

You might also want to search these online catalogues, which combine the holdings of many libraries:

  • Amicus - libraries across Canada
  • WorldCat - libraries around the world

To request items found using the catalogues above, use our interlibrary loan request forms.

What is a microform? Can I print from it?
A microform is a square of film (microfiche) or roll of film (microfilm) onto which pages of a document have been photographed. Some older print publications are converted into microform. The library has microfilm and microfiche readers and you can save files to your USB drive.

Do you have library orientations?
All English 105 and Communications 125 classes receive introductory library orientations at the beginning of the semester.  We also teach a number of specialized orientations upon request of the instructor.  We do not offer "drop-in" orientations at this time, but do try to offer individual research consultations (by appointment) for several weeks toward the end of each term. We do offer a number of tutorials on various topics, and you can always ask for help from one of our reference librarians or use our reference request from for specific questions.

How can I use the audio/visual materials in the library?
Audio/visual carrells are available for viewing and/or listening. We have VHS, DVD, CD players (including MP3). You can sign out a headset from the Circulation desk using your Campus Card.

I don't know how to cite the source.
There are some citation guides and/or tutorials available online:

Using Research Databases

What is a research database?
An research database is a collection of thousands of articles appearing in specific newspapers, journals, magazines and more. Each research database will cover certain subject areas better than others. If you don't find what you are looking for in one, try another.

Can I access the research databases from home?

  1. Connect to the Research databases.
  2. Browse databases by subject or by name.
  3. Click on the name of the database.
  4. If you are off campus, you will be taken to the Proxy Login page.
  5. Students: Enter your student ID number and your 8-12 character password
    Employees: Enter your employee Network login credentials (same as those used to login into employee computers).
  6. If your information is valid, you will be connected directly to the database of your choice.  
  7. For more help, see Off Campus Access Instructions.

How do I find journal articles?
A typical search for journal articles might look like this:

  1. Select a research database to search.
  2. Enter your search terms in the search box.
  3. Review the list of results to look for relevant articles.
  4. Note the citation information: article title, article author, journal title, volume, issue, date, and page numbers.
  5. Look for a link to full text, which allows you to read the article online.
  6. If there is no full text link, click on "Full Text Finder" to locate a copy of the article. (Note: this can take some time - be patient.)
  7. Review the results of your location search; you could have several options:
    • The article is available online from one or more sources; click on the link to retrieve the article.
    • The journal is held by the UFV Library, and we have the volume you need; note the location and retrieve it from the shelves (or, if located at another campus, transfer it). You can then photocopy the article or take the specific issue out.
    • The article is not available online or at the UFV library; click on the link  "Full Text Finder" This will indicate if full text is available in any database. You will be also able to request the article from another library.

How do I select a research database for my topic?
Browse Databases by subject or type, and select the broad subject area in which your topic is situated. If your topic is interdisciplinary, you may need to look at more than one database. For most topics, we recommend you also look at the interdisciplinary research databases.

Do you have full text databases?
Yes. Full text is indicated on each database master page. Most research databases are not 100% full text. You can limit your search for just full text articles by selecting the full text/ available in the library collection option. Keep in mind that you might exclude many relevant articles that are not listed as full text.

What is a scholarly journal?
See the comparison between scholarly journals (also known as academic or peer-reviewed journals) and popular magazines. Some databases will let you narrow the search to scholarly journals.

How can I find out which journals the library subscribes to?
To find out which journals the UFV library has in a particular topic area, search the UFV Journals List. "Browse by Journal Disciplines" or enter your journal title.  This will list both print and electronic journals by subject.

To find out if the UFV library subscribes to a particular journal (e.g. The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency), use the UFV Journals List, which will include both print and online subscriptions, and the dates for which we have holdings.

I have the article citation. Now how can I get the article?
Start by checking the UFV Journals List to see if the article is available online or in print.  (Be sure to look up the title of the journal, not the title of the article.) If online, you can click on the link to the online journal and locate the volume/issue number required.  If the library has print copies of the journal, check the UFV Library catalogue to see if that particular issue is in the library, then go to the "Magazines/Journals" section of the library (main floor) and locate the journal.  Print journals are shelved alphabetically by the title of the journal.

How can I get an article that the library does not own?
Fill in an interlibrary loan request form.

How do I find statistical data?
There are several databases available for locating statistical information. Go to our Research Databases and limit by Datasets and Statistics.

Computing Facilities in the Library

Do I need a computer account?
A computing account is required to use the research stations in the library, as well as all of the computing labs. All students are given computer accounts. To login - the username is your student number. The default password is your birthdate, in the form of YYMMDD.  If you have changed your default password when logging into "myUFV", use your new password. 

Community users may use computers in the library for a maximum of 1 hour per day.  Photo ID is required.

My student account login does not work.
Make sure that you have the correct username and password. If you do, refer the problem to the Admissions and Records.

I forgot my password.
Follow the steps at the Username & Password Issues page.

Where can I read my email or type out a paper using word processing or spreadsheets?
The computer stations in the library are primarily for research purposes, but do have Microsoft Office suite installed. A full suite of software is available in the computing labs.

Can I print from the library computers?
To print you must have value pre-loaded on your campus card (student or employee).  You may add value to your card in the Chilliwack Library (cash, credit, debit, $5 minimum) or at the PHIL station in the Abbotsford Library (cash only, $5 minimum, bills only). Value can also be added to cards at the Campus Card office and the Bookstores.)  The cost of black and white printing is 10 cents per page; colour printing is 35 cents per page and is available in Abbotsford (G210) and Chilliwack (A1202).

Can I use my laptop computer in the library?
Yes. Wireless network service is available to UFV students and employees in the Abbotsford library.

I don't know where to start...

  • You might find your answer from this FAQ page.
  • Check out the Steps to Writing a Research Paper.
  • The Guides to Research point you to recommended information resources for your research.
  • If you still have questions on conducting library research, come and talk to a librarian.

Updated March 28, 2018/MAM

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